New amendments to the Startup Visa Lithuania program, managed by Startup Lithuania, entered into force in August of this year. They allow foreign startups to move their business to Lithuania for a longer period of time than before.
Starting in August, foreigners who take advantage of Startup Visa Lithuania and move their young, fast-growing and innovative business to Lithuania will receive a 2-year temporary residence permit in Lithuania. At the end of this period, the permit can be extended for another 3 years after the startup team submits a progress report. After 5 years of successful activity, a foreign businessman will have the opportunity to obtain a permanent residence permit.
When selecting startups, priority will be given to those that have already started their activities, that is, those that have released a product and have a clear business plan.
“Since foreign startups have had such a positive experience working with Lithuania, many are interested in staying longer than a one-year visa. We have noticed that during the first year it is quite difficult for foreign startups to actively work in Lithuania, moving, setting up a company and other procedures take a lot of time. It also takes time to get to know the Lithuanian startup ecosystem, so we believe that granting a residence permit in Lithuania for 2 years at once will allow startup founders to focus more on their activities and fully experience the Lithuanian startup ecosystem,” says Roberta Rudakene . , head of the Startup Lithuania department of the Lithuanian Innovation Agency.
Then, after successfully developing the startup for 2 years and presenting the confirming results, the founders of the startup will be able to continue to develop their business in Lithuania and expand to other European markets with less expenditure of time and energy on migration procedures (which are time-consuming in terms of submitting annual reports and of the annual renewal of temporary residence permits in Lithuania).
According to Rudokene, changes to Startup Visa Lithuania are intended to encourage foreign startups to choose Lithuania for business development opportunities.
“In recent years, the Lithuanian startup ecosystem has demonstrated impressive results. We need to capitalize on this growth to make Lithuania the most attractive country for startups in our region and to attract companies with high growth potential and high added value to the country,” says Rudakene.
The Visa Lithuania startup program was launched back in 2017. More than 90 foreign startups in the fields of medicine, finance, educational technology and other fields have benefited from smoother relocation procedures guaranteed by the program and established in Lithuania in the last 5 years.
Currently, according to the Startup Lithuania database, there are almost 1,100 startup companies operating in Lithuania, which last year attracted more than 423 million euros of investment.